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Full text of "A history of Persia"

THE PERSO-AFGHAN QUESTION      443
young Kajar Khan known as the Salar, son of the Asaf-
u-Dola, had rebelled. He had induced many of the
chiefs of Khorasan to join him, but they deserted and he
was forced to seek refuge among the Turkoman together
with Jafar Kuli Khan, chief of Bujnurd. Shortly after-
wards the two rebels returned to Khorasan and reoccupied
Bujnurd. Again they were attacked and again they fled,
Jafar Kuli Khan taking refuge on this occasion with Yar
Mohamed Khan of Herat.
The death of Mohamed Shah gave the Pretender his
chance, and before long, owing to hatred of the Turks,
almost all the chiefs of Khorasan had joined the young
Khan, whose personality was attractive and courage un-
doubted. Yar Mohamed Khan brought two thousand
sowars to Meshed as a reinforcement for Hamza Mirza,
the Persian Governor-General, who had promised him
twenty guns and two frontier posts in return for his
assistance. But the forces of the Salar were too strong,
and Meshed was evacuated, the Governor-General retiring
in the direction of the Afghan frontier. Meanwhile a
force of six thousand infantry under Sultan Murad Mirza
reached Khorasan from Teheran and, mainly owing to
the desertion of the Bujnurd chief, the Salar was driven
to shut himself up in Meshed, where he was besieged for
eighteen months. Finally the citizens of the Sacred City
entered into negotiations with the besiegers, and sur-
rendered Meshed and the Salar. The Pretender was
tortured in barbarous fashion to make him reveal his
treasure, and was then strangled. He was buried in the
shrine of Khoja Rabi, close to the city.
The Bab.—Among the latest religions to which Asia
has given birth is that of the Bab. Its founder, Sayyid
AH Mohamed,1 born in 1820, was the son of a grocer of
Shiraz, who evincing a religious disposition was sent to
Kerbela, where he studied at the feet of celebrated doctors
of law and gained distinction for the austerities he
practised and for his love of learning. At the age of
1 These sections are based on The Episode of tie Bab, The New History of the Bab, and
the article in the Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics: in each case the author is Prof. E.
G. Browne. A brief account of the sect is also given in The Sword of Islam by Sir A,
Wollaston.